CABOT, Vt., July 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- On Valentine's Day, Cabot Creamery Cooperative and its partners launched Reward Volunteers® 1.0, the nation's first mobile and web app that allows volunteers to log hours, post to Facebook and win rewards for themselves and the organizations they serve. During the five month run of the program, more than 2,300 users from 12 countries and 46 U.S. states have connected to Reward Volunteers, representing nearly 800 organizations and logging just under 45,000 hours of community service.
"We are pleased so many people took part in Reward Volunteers in the first run of the program," says Cabot Director of Marketing/Integrated Services, Jen Neary who worked with Chalo, Inc., a Vermont-based startup, to create the Reward Volunteers iPhone and web widget. "Cabot's farm family owners are excited to be honoring those who are doing great things for their communities. Volunteers do so much - they've logged time working at food banks, women's shelters, animal rescue centers and hundreds of other vital non-profits across the nation - and rarely receive the credit they deserve. When we began Reward Volunteers in February, we were looking for a way to recognize and reward those who give their time, skills and energy to make their communities better, while encouraging others to get involved. With over 44,000 hours of service hours logged, and nearly 100 prize winners taking home cash, vacations and other great prizes, Reward Volunteers is a huge success."
Over the course of the past five months, Reward Volunteers gave away dozens of prizes and $33,000 cash to winning individuals and organizations. Prizes included special edition Burton Snowboards; Green Mountain Coffee breakfast crates; King Arthur Flour gift certificates; Gardener's Supply Company gift certificates; Cabot Cheese gift baskets; Ski Vermont ski passes; Keurig brewers; copies of Sending Milk and Authentic Patriotism; vacations to Vermont's Liberty Hill Farm and Smugglers Notch; an Alaskan cruise for two; and a monthly grand prize of $3,000. In addition, on July 7, five non-profit organizations were selected to each receive a cash prize of $3,000.
"In addition to the Rewards Volunteers program, we also gave five of the nation's top Food Banks the opportunity to win extra cash for their cause," Neary said. "We launched the 'Food Bank Challenge' in April, where volunteers from the Capital Area Food Bank, City Harvest, Philabundance, the Community Food Bank of New Jersey and the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank competed to see which charity could generate the most volunteer hours, and log those hours using Reward Volunteers. The winner of The Foodbank Challenge is the Community FoodBank of New Jersey-Southern Branch, which will receive $3,000 cash."
Reward Volunteers uses Facebook Connect to enable participants to log their volunteer activity and share the volunteer experience with friends via Facebook, email, and the app itself. The more hours logged, the more 'likes' and 'comments' received, and emails opened, the more likely participants are to win prizes each month. Partners in the Reward Volunteers program include AARP Create the Good, All for Good, Marriott, and Co+op Stronger Together.
The Grand Prize winners for Reward Volunteers' first campaign – dubbed Reward Volunteers 1.0 - have been selected.
"I can't believe I won," says Pamela Cook, a volunteer for the Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont, who will receive $3,000 for her volunteer efforts this month. "I plan to pay some bill and maybe take a weekend getaway with my winnings. While I love volunteering for the Girl Scouts, it is nice to be recognized, and I hope this encourages others to get out there and volunteer."
"Working with this incredible community feels like reward enough, but visiting Alaska has always been a dream of mine," says Francesca Garrett, a volunteer at the Holocaust Memorial Museum in San Antonio, who will be going on an Alaskan Cruise aboard the Community Celebrity Cruise this fall. "I can't wait for September - thank you for honoring me, and all the other volunteers from around the country."
Other Grand Prize winners will receive:
While the first phase of this program has come to an end, Cabot wants to encourage users to keep logging their hours via the iPhone app and web widget. Reward Volunteers 2.0 is expected to begin sometime this fall.
July Reward Volunteers Winners Include:
Pamela Cook, New Hampshire & Vermont – The Girl Scouts of the Green and White Mountains
Alaskan Cruise & $75 gift selection of award-winning Cabot cheddar
Francesca G., Texas – Holocaust Memorial Museum, San Antonio
Liberty Hill Farm Vacation & $75 gift selection of award-winning Cabot cheddar
Jessica B., Arizona - Beads of Courage
Smugglers Notch Vacation & $75 gift selection of award-winning Cabot cheddar
Tim Y., New York – Puppetry Arts
Nonprofit Organization Winners Include:
A complete list of the organizations benefiting from the Reward Volunteers can be accessed at: http://www.cabotcheese.coop/orgs.html
ABOUT CABOT CREAMERY COOPERATIVE
Cabot Creamery Cooperative has been in continuous operation in Vermont since 1919, and makes a full line of cheeses, yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese and butter. Widely known as makers of "The World's Best Cheddar," Cabot is owned by the 1200 dairy farm families of Agri-Mark, the Northeast's premier dairy cooperative, with farms located throughout New England and upstate New York. For more information on Cabot, visit: http://www.cabotcheese.coop
United Nations Declares 2012 "International Year of Cooperatives"
2012 recognized by the UN as the International Year of Cooperatives. As proud members of the Cooperative Community, Agri-Mark and its Cabot and McCadam brands support and promote the cooperative business model in recognition of the fact that cooperatives drive the economy, respond to social change, are resilient to global economic crisis and are serious, successful businesses creating jobs in all sectors. To learn more about the 2012 International Year of Cooperatives, go to: 2012 IYC
Contact: Bob Schiers
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SOURCE Cabot Creamery Cooperative